Female Professionals The Greatest Black Female Musicians  

Ranker Music
4k votes 421 voters 9.7k views 85 items

List Rules Vote up the top black women musicians around the world.

If you're an audiophile, chances are you own albums by many of the women on this list. These are the greatest black female musicians of all time, as voted on by you and your fellow music fans. But what genre should reign supreme? Some famous black female musicians sing the blues while other top black woman musicians are pop superstars. Many of the best black female musicians have topped the charts time and time again.

What artists will you find on this list of the best black female musicians? Maybe Tina Turner is your pick for number one. By combining R&B, rock, soul, pop, the blues, and her infectious energy, Turner has earned a reputation as a truly incredible live performer. Alicia Keys is another talented African-American female musician who specializes in blending genres. Perhaps the most innovative musician of modern times – regardless of race or gender – is Beyonce. The pop icon continues to explore new musical territory with every album. Other talented performers featured on this list include Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, and Missy Elliott.

Which of these superstars should top the list? Give your personal picks a thumbs up to move them towards number one, and add any musicians who are missing.

list ordered by

1
116 53
Whitney Houston is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Dance-pop, Contemporary R&B

2
92 43
Aretha Franklin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Pop music, Rock music, Rhythm and blues

3
89 41
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Dance-pop, Rhythm and blues

4
62 42
Janet Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Rock music

5
52 33
Nina Simone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Folk music, Rhythm and blues, Jazz

6
36 19
Gladys Knight is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rhythm and blues, Soul music, Gospel music

7
63 45
Mariah Carey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Contemporary R&B

8
53 36
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Torch song, Ballad, Swing music

9
74 56
Alicia Keys is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Neo soul

10
50 36
Lauryn Hill is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Alternative hip hop, Neo soul

11
51 37
Ella Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Ballad, Swing music, Traditional pop music

12
37 24
Natalie Cole is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Adult contemporary music, Pop music, Quiet storm

13
38 25
Chaka Khan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Disco

14
40 27
Mahalia Jackson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
RobLein added Gospel music

15
46 33
Etta James is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Rock music, Rhythm and blues, Rock and roll

16
52 41
Brandy Norwood is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

17
54 43
Toni Braxton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

18
35 27
Missy Elliott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Hip hop music, Pop music, Dance-pop

19
32 24
Patti LaBelle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Doo-wop, Girl group, Ballad

20
80 74
Beyoncé Knowles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Hip hop music, Pop music

21
18 10
Anita Baker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Adult contemporary music, Quiet storm, Smooth jazz

22
39 32
Donna Summer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
New Wave, Disco, Pop music

23
38 31
Diana Ross is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Disco, Pop music, Dance music

24
27 20
Dionne Warwick is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Urban contemporary, Adult contemporary music, Pop music

25
20 13
Tracy Chapman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Female Musicians
Coolza added Blues-rock, Pop music, Folk music